Friday, September 11, 2009


It may seem as though I took my own wish for a happy and relaxed Labor Day a little too far, deciding to retreat to the chaise lounge with a pitcher of Long Island iced tea and the latest issue of Vogue, never to return. Well, actually, it's more ironic than that. I wrote the Labor Day post while at my office, on Labor Day, working on a project. I knew I was going to be busy all week long with bread-winning and that kind of thing, and sure enough, as Nostradamus is my witness, that's the way it turned out. And I was trying to be prepared for it. The day before Labor Day, I spent the entire day on an overview of the autumn in store for us lucky Los Angeles moviegoers courtesy of local revival theaters. But as it turns out, one should not baby-sit and cook and blog at the same time, for when one does (or at least this one) distractions occur, and as a result of my not-too-clear thinking about 9,000 words on the subject of repertory cinema got wiped off my Microsoft Word clipboard while I was trying to decide whether to jump up and pull the burning spaghetti off the stove. Boo hoo.

Therein the darkness around here this week. But I do have stuff ready to go. My contribution to Tony Dayoub's Brian De Palma Blog-a-thon is scheduled for publication tomorrow afternoon around 4:00, and a revamped version of that revival cinema post will be visible this weekend, before too many more delights courtesy of the Cinefamily and the New Beverly Cinema have already passed us by. Also on the docket, finally, my answers to Professor Snape's Movie Quiz (plus a couple of questions from the last one, which I skipped altogether), some notes of appreciation on character actor Bruce McGill, the new Ramin Bahrani movie Goodbye, Solo, and maybe even a look ahead at great and not-so-great expectations for the fall movie season-- you know, when Hollywood trots out all the supposedly award-worthy movies that are supposed to make us forget about the great stuff we've already seen.

Thanks for hanging in there. Words a-comin'.



Paul Matwychuk said...

Glad to hear you liked GOODBYE SOLO too. I caught up with the film last weekend, and did a segment recommending the film for CBC Radio just yesterday — I'll post a link to it on my blog as soon as the CBC site is updated.

Such a rich film, executed on such a deceptively small scale. I'm eager to see what you have to say about it, and the remarkable performances by SoulĂ©ymane Sy SavanĂ© and Red West — enacting a bizarro-world version of the Sally Hawkins/Eddie Marsan relationship in HAPPY-GO-LUCKY.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Yea, Paul! I thought of Sally Hawkins and Eddie Marsan often in this movie too. But what confidence, what unerring instinct for when to cut, what amazing patience, what respect for the landscape of the faces of these two actors Bahrami reveals, eh? God, this was such a moving film-- it made me think of Bill Forsyth too, especially near the end. Thanks for letting me know about your review. I will link to it as well when my own makes its head through the mist.

Kevin J. Olson said...


Glad to hear you loved Goodbye Solo I wrote about it back in June and find myself still thinking about certain scenes. I eagerly await your thoughts on the film.

Bruce McGill! He's probably my favorite character actor. He's pretty much the new J.T. Walsh (who was the king of character actors before his untimely death) as he always livens up a film when he shows up. I love his scene stealing speech in The Insider, and how he plays against the convention to play mean in The Legend of Bagger Vance, and I loved his Bill Banyon in the underrated Elizabethtown...or Ralph Houk from *61. Anyway, I could go on. That posy I really look forward to.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Kevin, damn your eyes, you've made me realize how much McGill there is to see in marginal movies I haven't seen yet! I had occasion to see Runaway Jury this week. A pretty flaccid movie-- Hackman is good, John Cusack is, as usual, watchable, Dustin Hoffman is very, very bad. But Bruce McGill plays a judge, and he's given none of the usual grandstanding type scenes, yet he commands the screen so much that I started to believe that he was the center of the action even if he was really only on the periphery. I turned to my wife and said, "You know, Bruce McGill is one of those actors who, when he comes on screen, I never want him to go away." That's when I knew I had to jot down some thoughts. And having met him during Animal House, it's been really fun following his career.

I'm picturing a one-man show about, I don't know, Teddy Roosevelt...

Rick Olson said...

I join you gentlemen in your (chaste and no doubt manly) love for Bruce McGill, and wish to add "Matchstick Men" to the list of films he has elevated.

Come back, come back, little Dennis ...

Paul Matwychuk said...

As requested, the link to my GOODBYE SOLO radio segment!

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